ASTRO Brings All Light with Their First Full-Length Album
Back from a year-and-two-months hiatus, ASTRO returns to the music scene with their full-length album All Light. Despite their long absence, the boy group immediately mesmerized fans with the title song “All Light,” appealing to many with a mystical concept that further highlights the six members’ individual charms.
“All Night (전화해)”
The song consists of a rather soft tune weaving into the rhythmical beat, and ASTRO expresses the heartfelt desire of one’s wish to listen to their lover’s voice all night through a phone call; this definition, in turn, explains the meaning behind the Korean title of the track “전화해,” equivalent to the expression “call me.” Setting a dreamy atmosphere, a series of piano melodies intermixed with striking sound effects flow over to Moonbin as he starts off and Eunwoo catches on, adding a touch of serenity to the song’s introduction. Continuing on to Sanha’s part, the melody progresses into the build up of a catchy chorus. The chorus lyrics are a perfect fit with MJ’s smooth vocals as he flawlessly performs the killing point. However, the rappers are definitely the last pieces to the puzzle in bringing the song to completion as Rocky and JinJin’s distinct vibes allow for a nice transition in between the different voices of the group.
The film implements a number of elements that thoroughly present the overarching theme of the title song “All Night.” A mesmerizing mood is first established with the hazy turquoise light hitting onto a figure as the slow motion applied near the beginning of the music video follows the vibe. The continuous shift in the setting gives out a variety of feelings despite revolving around the same concept. This provides a wider outlook onto the numerous aspects in the video. For instance, the garden full of flowers associates with the term “magical” while the use of props like the telephone booth, bathtub, and birdcages literally scream out aesthetic.
Not including a massive amount of choreography scenes in the video, the group, allowing viewers to focus on literal symbols such as flowers, maintains their aesthetic image. The use of filters and effects also categorize as factors that help build up the image of a dreamlike state. As a word in the title of the song, light appears in many scenes in the form of sunlight or the flame of a candle; regardless of its form, the angles from which the lighting can be seen really enhance the whole aesthetic of the film. The technique of washing the whole stage with one shade of color leaves an impactful impression on the viewer. Because the overall film is very soft and warm, unlike the intense tones such as orange and turquoise that occasionally come into play, the contrasting shades enhance the color scheme and help the members, who are mostly in neutral- or cool-colored outfits, to stand out and create a perfect balance with the colored scenery.
Wash the World with All Light
A fairly short track, “Starry Sky” marks the beginning of the album. The song starts off with an acoustic intro then transitions into a Pop EDM-style track, providing a sense of freshness. The series of synthetic sounds goes along the flow of the track as the singers convey to the listener their wish to create many memories together; they express their message by using the analogy to leave a star behind in the sky with a star representing each memory.
“Moonwalk” involves a heavy bass and drum sound, emitting a deeper and slightly darker vibe in comparison to the earlier tracks. This groovy song shapes the wide capacity of the group’s vocalists and rappers as they pull it off effortlessly.
For me, this next song sent off a sensation of excitement within the first five seconds; “Treasure” is a track that undoubtedly reminisces the first series of ASTRO’s albums—to be more specific, the first three title tracks: “Hide & Seek,” “Breathless,” and “Confession.” The melodious piano sounds arouse the refreshing vibe the group once pursued, and the catchy whistle effects further blend in with the melody and the electric guitar to communicate an inspiring and hopeful emotion presented by the lyrics, “You’re my treasure / Let’s stay together for a long time / I can’t be without you / You’re my treasure / My first and last / My answer is you.”
The next track, “Role Play,” implements a steady beat with the inclusion of guitar sounds. The vocal line (MJ, Moonbin, Eunwoo, Sanha) shows off their matured images with the sensual melody of the song that enhance the tones of each individual.
“1 In A Million” has a rhythmical drum sound that uplifts the atmosphere—the song is definitely a heart-shaker with its lyrics. The group is ready to take your heart with the sweet confession, “1 in a million / because you’re attractive.”
Pop-ballad track “Love Wheel,” with its basis on the piano, creates a beautiful melody that truly represents the loving emotion ASTRO sings with. This is a song that will undoubtedly leave you in a melted puddle from its adorable lyrics.
“Heart Brew Love,” a Teen Pop track, catches the attention of the listener right away with the uplifting beats. The lyrics reflect a cute analogy in expressing love as brewed coffee; as much as brewed coffee is made with effort and time, the genuine and innocent tenderness of love is depicted.
The original version of ASTRO’s special single “Merry-Go-Round (Christmas Edition),” “Merry-Go-Round” gives off a cheerful vibe. The title based on the comparison of one circling around their crush like a merry-go-round, and with the illustration of one’s heart-fluttering emotions after a sweet confession, the bright mood of the song definitely brings a feeling of warmth to the listeners.
The final track of the album, “Bloom (피어나),” brings the group’s first full-length album to an end. Being MJ and JinJin’s first produced song, “Bloom” holds a significant meaning to the team as well as fans. The slow but delicate sound of the song highlights the pain of bidding farewell to a lover and carries a sentimental mood throughout the whole track.
Some fans in the K-Pop community still remember ASTRO as the group with the cutesy and youthful concept. But with this comeback, the six boys surely overwrote their image. The team’s first-full length album prominently portrays the matured images of every member— expressing how the group moved on in terms of broadening their base of music and style, the successful return of ASTRO seems to signify a nice start in the K-Pop industry this year.